Sessions' job is safe until at least midterms, Trump says

Lead Phil Mattingly live Jim Sciutto_00022821

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a legend in his home state of Alabama, but the former Senator, having drawn the ire of President Donald Trump for not shutting down the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, isn't getting much help from his former allies.

"Our Justice Department and our Federal Bureau of Investigation - at the top of each, because inside they have incredible people - but our Justice Department and our Federal Bureau of Investigation have to start doing their job and doing it right and doing it now", Trump said.

Thursday he told the outlet, "I do question what Jeff is doing".

In the interview, Trump gave a token indication Sessions' fate wasn't sealed.

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"I think the immigration issue was poorly handled".

Sessions, in a rare rebuttal, responded that he took control of the department the day he became attorney general and would not allow it to be "improperly influenced by political considerations".

"I wanted to stay out, but at some point if it doesn't straighten out properly".

Sessions infuriated Trump by recusing himself from the investigation into alleged Trump-Russia ties a year ago which prompted Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel leading the inquiry. Last week, Trump fired several barbs at Sessions, telling Fox news channel's "Fox & Friends" that Sessions "took the job and then he said, 'I'm going to recuse myself". For now. That comes from an interview President Trump gave Bloomberg today in which he declared he would not fire Sessions before the midterm elections.

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"I view it differently", Trump said. "I view it as an illegal investigation [because] great scholars [have said] there should never have been a special counsel".

Sen. Lindsey Graham brought up the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" policy that resulted in separated families when asked if there is any substantive basis for firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He charged that Mueller's probe was "highly conflicted" and that "real corruption goes untouched".

Republicans on Capitol Hill have been anxious the President would complicate Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court and place further controversy around the White House ahead of the midterm elections.

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